ASSEMBLY MEMBERS OF ASHAIMAN MUNICIPAL ASSEMBLY ON THE EXISTENTIAL THREAT POSED BY TDC.
The press briefings below :
Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press.
You are all warmly welcome to this brief encounter between Honourable Assembly Members and Concerned Residents of the Municipality.
We are basically here to draw the attention of all well meaning Ghanaians to the threats posed by the activities of TDC in the future developmental needs of our Communities.
This Press conference has become necessary due to the wanton sale and encroachment on some public spaces within the Municipality which has the tendency of threatening the peace and development in the very short near future.
To begin with, I want to take us through the historical mandates of TDC vis-a-vis, the legal instrument of 1965, through 1989, and it current legal regime of 2017.
TDC as it used to be known and called was clothed with the mandate to plan and develop about 63 square miles of public land (Acquisition Areas) and to manage the township and provide accommodation for the catchment area. The lease is for a period of 125 years.
INITIAL FUNCTIONS OF TDC.
1.To plan, layout and develop the acquisition areas.
2. Without prejudice of the above they may for the purpose of carrying out the mandate as stated in clause 1 work with the prior approval of TMA (Assemblies within the catchment area)
(i) Construct roads, buildings.
(ii) Prepare and execute housing scheme.
In 2017, TDC became a company limited by guarantee to
1. To carry out the objectives of TDC as per LI 469, 1965 as mandated in 1989 LI 468 as amended.
2. To aquire land both in and outside Ghana.
3. Planning, development and consideration of towns and cities outside Ghana.
4. Development and Management of commercial and industrial areas.
5. Consultancy services.
6. To partner and or collaborate with real estate developers.
7. Investment in real estate concerns.
TDC is now a limited liability company and its core aim is just to make profits.
As such, it’s relationship with the coming into being of the various Municipal, Metropolitan Assemblies that have absolute political and administrative jurisdiction of all acquisition areas held in trust by TDC for the people of Ghana is clearly defined in the local government acts 940 as amended and the Land Use and Spatial planning acts 925.
Specifically, by coming into force of the Land Use and Spacial Planning act 925, 2016.
It is an uncontested fact that act 925 cedes planning functions to the various MMDAs. The assemblies are therefore mandated to approve any developments framework or joint development frameworks as stated in
Section 57(5) on approval of the District Spacial Development frameworks.
The various development schemes after approval should not also be treated as classified intelligence documents as it is being done currently because Section 57(9) states that A person may, on request, obtain a copy of:
(A) The District Spatial Development frame work from the District Assembly on the payment on the fee fixed by the District Assembly by resolution in accordance with the procedure for fixing rates.
(B) A joint – district spatial development framework from the authority on payment of the fee prescribed by the authority.
The residential commodification of all acquisition areas by TDC to the rich and famous, politically placed is detrimental to the future development of key critical infrastructure ie recreational centers, social amenities including schools and health posts, industrial parks as well as our local economic development so must and will be resisted.
Ladies and gentlemen of the Press, the STARLIGHT PARK which has triggered the current resistance to TDC has over the years
1. served as Community park since 1996.
2. The only park serving seven or more Communities.
3. Both Christians and Muslims uses the park for occasions.
4. During the COVID-19 PANDEMIC time in GHANA, the park among other parks served as satellite markets.
5. Almost the entire Community run to the park for refuge when GHANA experienced earth tremor on 10th of April 2017.
5. Players like Thomas Partey, Francis Cann, Moses Ojeh, Francis Narh, just to mention a few played on Starlight Park to become professional for Ghana.
6. A section of private Schools games are held on the field.
7. Funerals and many other activities.
Interestingly, the very branch of the Methodist church that bought the land for church building also do picnic games and other activities on the field.
It is frightening and alarming to note that the Municipal Assembly has absolutely not an inch of space to site a six unit classroom should we have the resources to initiate one.
Should TDC sell all public lands that they hold in trust for the people of Ghana when they were a cooperation but are now a company to their rich friends and cronies be allowed to stand, kindly bear in mind that no development can take place within the Municipality because these lands will all be in private hands.
Since it’s establishment and acting according to their mandate, TDC prepared spatial framework and local plans for the acquisition areas but have refused to share the schemes with the various Assemblies let alone produce it for approval by the assemblies as required under section 57(9), and section 68 of the land use and spatial planning act 925.
The actions of TDC poses grave danger not only to the people of Ashaiman but the entire country.
If the focus of TDC is to sell all the acquisition areas to their friends and cronies for residential and religious use only without conscious effort to incorporate critical areas as recreational and social centers, markets, industrial parks, Schools, etc then the social and economic viability of the Municipality is at risk and faces an existential threat. We challenge TDC to produce the scheme and show us where in the various electoral areas spaces have been allotted for such facilities.
To put it clearly, if the residents in the future don’t have access to schools, work, and recreational centers then don’t panic when they start chasing you in your homes and traffic lights.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are on time bomb that will explode very shortly if remedial actions are not taken for TDC to reverse the destructive abyss that they are leading us into. We therefore demand
1. TDC should release the scheme regarding the acquisition areas to the various assemblies.
2. TDC should revoke the sale of STARLIGHT PARK or relocate the supposed buyers with immediate effect.
3. The Minister for Works and Housing as well as EOCO should undertake an audit into the nefarious activities of TDC.
4. TDC should release lands for public use to the Various MMDAs.
No moral code or ethical principle, no piece of scripture or holy teaching can be summoned to defend what we have allowed our country to become.
Failure of TDC to attend to these demands within a week will leave ASSEMBLY MEMBERS and Communities within the Municipality with no choice than to rise to the solemn call on us in our constitution- To resist oppressors rule with all our might.
We will want to conclude by referring you to Philippians 4:8
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things”.
This is clarion call on residents within the Municipality and Sister Assemblies to join us in the fight to protect Public Lands and Space for future use.